Malcolm Sheehan QC will lead the UK government’s review of the collapse of Football Index.
UK.- The government has appointed Malcolm Sheehan QC to lead its review of the collapse of BetIndex, the operator of the Football Index football player trading platform.
The independent government inquiry is to look into how the platform collapsed and whether more could have been done to try to prevent it. This is likely to involve examination of the Gambling Commission’s role.
The Gambling Commission suspended BetIndex’s sports betting licence after it entered administration in March. The British gambling regulator has been criticised for not acting earlier after it emerged that it had concerns about Football Index’s viability months before its collapse.
Sheehan’s review will cover the entire period from September 2015, when BetIndex obtained its licence, up until the suspension of its licence in March.
Sheehan will review the Gambling Commission’s actions throughout the period, from its initial licensing to general monitoring. He will also consider whether Football Index should have been regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Financial Services and Markets Acts rather than by the Gambling Commission as a betting platform.
A barrister at Henderson Chambers, Sheehan specialises in product liability and group actions among other legal areas. He will report his findings in the summer.
It is expected that they will inform the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s ongoing review of British gambling legislation.
The Gambling Commission is also carrying out its own review into the collapse of Football Index.
The future of Football Index
Meanwhile, the High Court is still to rule on how funds should be divided among Football Index players who had funds trapped in the platform when it collapsed.
Documents presented to the court revealed that BetIndex planned to go into administration before it lowered the dividend payments Football Index offered to customers.
The operator has said that it plans to relaunch Football Index and allow customers to take equity through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).